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Section 3: Pre-Bid Conference

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The district may conduct pre-bid conferences to provide specific project information, explain any unusual aspects of the project, and address any potential bidder questions.

Maintain minutes for all pre-bid conferences, both mandatory and optional; minutes may be written or recorded. Provide a copy of these minutes to all conference attendees and bidders on the Pre-Bid Q&A FTP site. Include all pre-bid conference information (such as type, date, time, location, etc.) in the Notice to Contractors. Schedule pre-bid conferences approximately two weeks prior to letting to allow sufficient time to prepare and issue any needed addenda. Provide prospective bidders adequate notification of a scheduled pre-bid conference.

When conducting a pre-bid conference, adhere to the following requirements.

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  • Ensure the location and the starting time for the conference is as specified in the Notice to Contractors. Make reasonable consideration for individuals who arrive late due to circumstances beyond their control, such as weather-related difficulties.
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  • Ensure the attendance list contains fields for the prospective bidder firm's complete name and the representative’s signature, printed name, address, email address, and telephone numbers.
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  • Ensure the pre-bid conference agenda covers a general review of the completed plans and specifications plus a detailed review of the contract’s special requirements.
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  • Ensure that issues discussed during the pre-bid conference are not considered contractual.
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  • Issue an addendum as necessary to correct the proposal, as bid documents cannot be altered by a pre-bid conference.
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Optional Attendance

At the district’s discretion, pre-bid conferences where attendance is optional may be conducted for contracts with special conditions or requirements. Provide notice of the date and time of the optional pre-bid conference to all prospective bidders. Do not exclude a prospective bidder from bidding on a contract because of failure to attend the optional pre-bid conference.


Mandatory Attendance

Do not conduct mandatory pre-bid conferences unless absolutely necessary to provide information to prospective bidders that cannot be conveyed in writing. Mandatory pre-bid conferences are not recommended due to prospective bidder concerns regarding bidding confidentiality and conference scheduling difficulties. Also, procedural errors may occur, which can result in bid rejections and re-letting the project, such as:

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  • District releases conflicting information about the time/location and/or requirement (mandatory vs optional) of the conference.
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  • District did not manage or validate the attendance list and a contractor name was provided on the attendance list that could not be validated against; therefore, it was not possible to determine who the proposal should be released to.

Obtain written approval from the Director of the DES or the Director of Maintenance Division (MNT), as applicable, prior to including a mandatory pre-bid conference in the proposal. If a mandatory pre-bid conference is approved, include the requirement in the proposal and the Notice to Contractors. Conduct a second pre-bid conference at least seven calendar days prior to letting for large, complex, highly technical projects that require attendance at a mandatory pre-bid conference.

Submit the list of all prospective bidders attending the mandatory pre-bid conference to the CST via email at the same day of the meeting. Prospective bidders failing to attend a mandatory pre-bid conference will not be eligible to pull an official bidding proposal or receive authorization to bid the project.

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